Our winemaking begins in our Mornington Peninsula vineyards. Great wines come from great vineyards: they speak of the individual character of the soil they were grown in. We believe healthy soil grows healthy plants and healthy grapes.
We do not use synthetic pesticides or herbicides in our vineyards. We believe in and practice organic farming and support many biodynamic principles that are supplementary to organic farming. Both our vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2007.
In addition to our own vineyards we have vineyards on the Peninsula which we contract to supplement our own grape production. These vineyards are not organically farmed. They are, however, managed with as little chemical input as the owners and vineyard managers feel is appropriate. We have purchased fruit from these vineyards for five to 10 years.
Wineries do not make flavour: flavour comes from grapes. However, we influence the journey from vineyard to bottle with a range of decisions in the winery. We generally use native yeasts and bacteria to ferment grapes rather than inoculating with packets. We handle juice in an oxidative manner. We use new oak to add complexity to wine rather than to dominate it. We use only French oak (not American oak).
We like wines that are savoury and interesting rather than forward and fruity. That means picking ripe grapes with the lowest sugars possible to keep alcohols down and making wines which speak of their natural acid and tannin structures.
Tony Lee, grapegrower, winemaker.